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April 30th, 2010

~Friday~  Xolani and I caught the 7:45 city bus in. Once at the bus stop, I realized I'd forgotten my work badge, which operates the elevator in our building as well as lets us in after hours, and I ran back up to my house to get it. When I was coming back, Xolani was coming up, as he'd realized that he needed a quarter to make his $2.00 fare. Bless our mess.

Back at the bus stop, a robin flew out from between some bushes and I wondered two things about Xolani and robins:

  1. Did he know what one was? (That is, do they even have robins in South Africa, or does he care about birds at all?), and

  2. Would he know about our cultural associations with robins?

The "Mary had a little lamb kids" were back on the bus, but this morning they were totally quiet. The younger boy was again in ear buds, and I wondered if they weren't just part of his persona, or perhaps embedded in his outfits.

In a first time ever event, there was a uniformed sheriff's deputy on the bus, who got off two stops after we got on. Strange.



I really wanted to be at day three of the FutureWeb 2010 conference, but our standing weekly student e-mail meeting was not canceled, and I felt compelled to attend it. My plan was to get out to the conference for the two afternoon sessions, but that didn't happen.

I'm still in that little work funk, and I'm not exactly sure why. Some of it has to do with not doing what I should have done before I went on vacation, but it's not all due to that. Perhaps, it's just a little post-vacation blues. I'm confident that "this too, shall pass."

The cover to my cell phone, which for a couple of days has been hanging on by one corner, totally snapped off today and the phone became unusable. I sent this e-mail to Robert, Joe, and my sister:

My phone is out of commission. I hope to take care of it [today], Saturday the latest. I'm always checking e-mail, so that's best bet if emergency.
xxoo
-j-


to which my sister responded:

Don't forget to Call your Father for his Birthday today—number 79!
Love you!
Vivian


to which I replied:

And what part of "my phone is out" don't you understand? CALL him?!? LOL. If you talk to him today, tell him if he doesn't hear from me it's because my phone is still out and I'll call him some time this weekend! Love YOU!
xxoo
-j-


to which she replied:

OMG! That is too funny - I am under a killer deadline for a federal report, did I mention we get a $27,500 fine if it isn't complete, so I am not processing well! LOL



I caught the 5:00 city bus home, which was running a little late and I was getting to the point of being annoyed when it finally came around the corner. It wasn't until I got off the bus, and glanced behind me that I saw Xolani walking behind me. He'd been on the bus the entire time and I hadn't noticed him.

Jesse Lutabingwa, who is the professor from Appalachian State in charge of this program, invited the host families of the four folks staying in Raleigh out to dinner tonight as a gesture of thanks. Xolani and I arrived at Savoy, at Greystone Village in North Raleigh (within a mile or so from Donna's and my first house, actually), at just after the 6:00 meeting time, where we found only Mac and Wanda Parker, the host family of "the girls."

Eventually Jesse arrived with the girls, whose names were Stephanie and I forgot the other girl's name, then remembered it, and now I've forgotten it again (Grrrr! I hate that!), and they were followed by Duma with his host family, GiGi and Dale. GiGi and Dale called Duma another name, which phonetically sounded like See-clay.

The seating arrangement ended up being such that all of the "kids" were at one end of the table and all of the "adults" were at the other end. But in fact, we're all adults. I was pretty much in the middle, so some of my conversations (and carrying on) was with "the kids" and some of my conversation were with their hosts. I was the first one to ask, "Does the grant allow alcohol at this dinner?" It did—or Jesse paid for that part of the bill himself.

The menu was divided into choices for "Course One," "Course Two," and "Course Three." I chose the "Pimento cheese: Tillamook extra sharp cheddar and roasted red peppers with crostini" for my first course, skipped a second course choice, and decided on the flounder choice, which isn't on the online menu to copy here, and was described in such a foo-foo way that I can't reproduce it here. What's important was that it was absolutely delicious and I ate every bite of it. For dessert, I had their "Classic deep dish vanilla bean crème brûlée with grandma's cookie," which was sinfully delicious.

At one point in the dinner, the host families were all presented with a gift, which turned out to be a nice mantel clock with a world time dial on it. Sweet. I enjoyed the time socializing and particularly enjoyed the banter and sense of humor of the girls. Duma (a.k.a. See-clay) rode back with me as he and Xolani were going out once we got back into town.



Like last weekend, I dropped the boys off at Hi5, and I met Joe over at Flex, where there were exactly three other people in the bar. After two drinks, we headed over to The Borough, where it was a little more crowded, but not up to its usual Friday night crowd.

We talked with Phil M. for a while, and then returned to Flex, where it was still pretty tragic. We had one more drink there, and then headed home. Would definitely have been a good night to stay in.
I actually beat Xolani home, so you know it wasn't a great night out.

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